Tired of seeing ads while studying? Now you can enjoy an "Ads Free" version of the site for as little as 10¢ a day.

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Psalms 69

Verse 1

Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.

Psalms 69:1-36.-The sufferer's misery and cry to God (Psalms 69:1-4); God knows that the reproach which he suffers, as if sinful and foolish, he incurs through zeal for God's glory (Psalms 69:5-12); he renews prayer for deliverance (Psalms 69:13-18); again he appeals to God's knowledge of his reproach from foes (Psalms 69:19-21); their doom (Psalms 69:22-28); poor and sorrowful himself, he is sure the salvation of God will set him up on high (Psalms 69:29); so he resolves to praise God; the humble pious shall be glad at the Lord's having heard the poor (Psalms 69:30-33); heaven and earth are invited to praise God for saving Zion, that His people may dwell there (Psalms 69:34-36). This psalm and Psalms 22:1-31 are the psalms most of all applied to Christ in the New Testament (John 15:25, cf. Psalms 69:4; John 2:17, cf. Psalms 69:9; also Romans 15:3; Matthew 27:34; Matthew 27:48, with Psalms 69:21; Acts 1:20, cf. Psalms 69:25; also Matthew 23:38). The two characteristics of this psalm, which is 'one great martyr image,' are --

(1) The fullness of detail of the judgments on the sufferer's foes;

(2) The prominence of the fact that he suffers for the sake of God (Hengstenberg). With the curses on the reprobate, Psalms 69:22-28, cf. David in 1 Samuel 26:19; 2 Samuel 3:29.

Title. - Upon Shoshannim - i:e., upon the lilies; an emblem for the servants of God (Psalms 69:36), and the lovely consolation and salvation from the Lord which are theirs, (cf. note on title, Psalms 45:1-17.) There is a play on similar sounds, " showshaniym (H7799) and, Psalms 69:1, hoshiy`eeniy (H3467), "save me," giving a key to the former enigmatic term.

Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul - like another type, Jonah (Jonah 2:5).

Verse 2

I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

I sink in deep mire (Psalms 40:2.) - literally, the mire of the deep; not that of a pit, but of the deep sea. Like Jeremiah, the type, the dungeon of Malchiah (Jeremiah 38:6).

Verse 3

I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

Mine eyes fail, while I wait for my God - as one's vision fails when it is kept long fixed in one direction in the distance, and strained in the vain hope that the desired object will come in view (Psalms 119:82; Lamentations 4:17; Psalms 40:12).

Verse 4

They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.

They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head. In Psalms 40:12 it is "mine iniquities."

They that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty - (Psalms 35:19; Psalms 38:19.)

Then I restored that which I took not away - (Psalms 35:11, margin.) A proverbial phrase for, 'I am treated as guilty of wrongs which I have never done.' The "then" means, what I have not taken away, I am then afterward held accountable for. So in 2 Samuel 16:8, Shimei charged David with Saul's sins, "The Lord hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul."

Verses 5-12

O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.

-He appeals in support of his prayer to God's knowledge that he suffers reproach and estrangement, as if he were foolish and sinful, for the sake of God, and through zeal for His glory.

Verse 5. O God, thou knowest my foolishness - i:e., in the Scripture sense, sin: thou knowest the sin imputed to me falsely by my adversaries-namely, that I am a 'wine-bibber, mad, and have a devil' (Matthew 11:19; John 10:20). The subordinate sense may also be implied, Thou knowest how I bear, as the sinner's substitute, the sin of the world laid on me: as Psalms 69:6-7; Psalms 69:19 imply. Compare Psalms 38:3-5; Psalms 40:12.

And my sins - trespasses; things done amiss; negligences [ 'ashmaah (H819)]. 3:14,63), but even those engaged in more serious business deliberately think and speak against me.

Verses 13-18

But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

-The prayer for deliverance renewed from Psalms 69:1; Psalms 69:5, more fully on the basis already laid down-namely, that it was for the sake of God he had been brought into trouble.

Verse 13. But as for me - emphatic, as in Psalms 35:13; Psalms 41:12.

My prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time - literally, 'in a time of grace,' or of thy 'good pleasured:' explained in Isaiah 49:8 as a "day of salvation;" and in Isaiah 61:2, "the acceptable year of the Lord" is contrasted with "the day of vengeance of our God." It is a limited time, that judged by God to be best fitted for effecting His purpose of grace by Messiah-the present dispensation. Messiah's prayers for Himself were never mistimed: they were exactly at the time when the Father's good pleasure would have them to be; and so they are still for His people.

In the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation - i:e., in accordance with thy truth (thy faithfulness to thy promises in prophecy) which appoints salvation for thy people (Psalms 71:2).

Verse 14. Deliver me out of the mire ... from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters - (Psalms 18:4; Psalms 144:7.)

Verse 15. Let not the pit shut her mouth upon me - Hebrew, bª'eer (H875), 'the well' (Psalms 40:2, a different Hebrew word, bowr (H953), 'pit').

Verse 16. Thy loving-kindness is good - pre-eminent, extraordinary.

The multitude of thy tender mercies - (cf. Psalms 69:13.)

Verse 17. Hear me speedily - literally, 'make haste! hear me.' The abruptness marks the vehemence of desire.

Verse 18. Draw nigh unto my soul - which is in imminent danger (Psalms 69:1). Compare Psalms 22:11.

Deliver me, because of mine enemies - (Psalms 13:4.)

Verses 19-21

Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.

-Again he appeals to God's knowledge of his reproach and suffering from his foes, as the ground on which he rests the following prayer for judgment on them.

Verse 19. Thou hast known my reproach ... - therefore thou canst not but remove all this from me.

Mine adversaries are all before thee - therefore thou canst not but take righteous vengeance on them (Psalms 69:23-29).

Verse 20. Reproach hath broken my heart. Probably the Saviour died of a broken heart. Crucifixion would not by itself have killed Him is so short a time. The pericardium or sac was burst, and the extravasated blood was separated into the crassamentum and the serum. So on the spear being driven into the side of the Saviour, blood and water flowed out. Thus, the rending of "the veil," whereby the Holy of holies was thrown open, answers to the breaking of "His flesh" (Hebrews 10:20), whereby we can enter the heavenly holiest place. Again, the breaking of bread in the Lord's Supper answers to the breaking of His heart. The intensity of the mental agony which broke His heart is revealed in the bloody sweat in Gethsemane, and in the agonized cry on the cross, "Eli, Eli, Lama, Sabacthani."

And I am full of heaviness - literally, 'I am sick' (Psalms 6:2).

Verse 21. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. His bitter sufferings might have been expected to soften even His enemies, who had causes these sufferings; but instead of cordials, they gave him gall and vinegar. Twice vinegar was offered to the Saviour on the cross-first vinegar mixed with gall (Matthew 27:34), and myrrh (Mark 15:23); but when he had tasted it, He would not drink it; because He would not meet His suffering in a state of stupefaction, which is the effect of myrrh. As given to criminals, it was a kindness; as given to the righteous Sin-bearer, it was an insult. Next, in order to fulfill this scripture, He cried "I thirst," and vinegar was given Him to drink (John 19:28; Matthew 27:48).

Verse 22

Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.

Let their table become a snare before them. Here Christ, the antitype and the real speaker, assumes the character Judge. The Jews' table was their high religious privileges (Psalms 23:5), which, through their resting on them as ends, instead of as means, proved their deadly snare. The Passover-table and the sacrificial tables were abrogated by His death. Romans 11:9-10 quotes Psalms 69:22-23 as fulfilled in the fate of the Jews. 'All the blessings of life become fraught with death to the reprobate' (Calvin).

And (that which should have been) for (their) welfare (let it become) a trap. The Chaldaic translates, 'let their sacrifices be to them a stumblingblock. This is probable, because the Hebrew of 'for their peace' or "welfare" is plural-lishelomim, 'offerings which appertain to their peace,' 'sacrificial peace offerings.' The mention in the context of "their table" accords with this view; because in peace offerings the sacrificers feasted on the flesh of the victims after the fat had been burnt before the Lord, and the breast and shoulder given to the priests. It betokened the enjoyment of communion with God at the "table of the Lord," on which their sacrificial meats were served (Malachi 1:7; Malachi 1:12), in the gifts which he bestowed, of which a choice portion was given to Him and to His servants. The Jews' "table" became, by their perversely rejecting the One only sacrifice, and adhering to the typical sacrifices when these had lost their meaning, their table, not the table of Yahweh; and so their trap causing them to incur rejection by God.

Verse 23

Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.

Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not - just retribution, seeing that they would not see, but loved darkness rather than light (John 12:37; John 12:40; John 9:39; John 3:19). They who will not see the truth at last cannot see it. So the Jews when they rejected Messiah (Romans 11:8; Romans 11:10).

And make their loins continually to shake. Take away the strength of their loins (the seat of physical power), so that their steps shall totter. Let them have neither eyes to see, nor strength to perform anything.

Verse 24

Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 25

Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.

Let their habitation be desolate. Their temple was no longer to be the temple of the Lord, but their own habitation. So Christ quotes it, Matthew 23:38, "Behold, your (the Jews') house is left unto you desolate." See Dr. Brown's note-`deserted of its divine inhabitant,' What is said of Judas (Acts 1:20) applies to Judah and Jerusalem, whom he represented.

Verse 26

For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.

For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten ... they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded - literally, 'in respect to the pain of thy (mortally) pierced ones.' 'They talk exultingly and derisively of the pain of thy wounded ones' - "the slain of the Lord" (Isaiah 66:16; Jeremiah 25:33). Messiah refers to Himself first, then to His people (Isaiah 53:4; Isaiah 53:10, "Him ... smitten of God"). The Jews, instead of being moved to compassion by the sad spectacle of Jesus' sufferings, clamoured for His crucifixion. They exulted when they ought to have wept, and persecuted when they ought to have ministered sympathy to the sufferer (cf. Psalms 41:8-9).

Verse 27

Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.

Add iniquity (i:e., its penalty) unto their iniquity. Attach the due punishment to their iniquity, (Psalms 31:10; Psalms 40:12; Jeremiah 18:23; Lamentations 4:6, margin.) The spirit in David announces the doom of the reprobates (Romans 2:5).

And let them not come into thy righteousness - that righteousness which is the gift of thy grace to the penitent believer (Psalms 24:5; Psalms 132:9; Romans 10:3; Philippians 3:9).

Verse 28

Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Let them be blotted out of the book of the living. All the Israelites who came up out of Egypt were put down in a muster-roll of the living, called "the writing of the house of Israel" (Ezekiel 13:9) and "the book of life." Those who had died were excluded when the names were written out afresh each year. They were thereby consigned to oblivion (Proverbs 10:7). Hence, the book of life was used as an image for God's book of predestination to eternal life (Psalms 139:16; Exodus 32:32; Psalms 87:6; Daniel 12:1; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 21:27; Luke 10:20). The book of life, in the human point of view, has names written in it who have a name to live, but are dead, being in it only by external call, or in their own estimation, and in that of others. But in the divine point of view it contains only those who are elected finally to life. The former may be blotted out, as was Judas (Revelation 3:5; Matthew 13:12; Matthew 25:29; Matthew 7:23; Exodus 32:33; but the latter never (Revelation 20:12; Revelation 20:15; John 10:28-29; Acts 13:48) Hope succeeds to prayer

Verse 29

But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.

But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high - or rather, 'thy salvation shall set me upon high.' So the Septuagint, Vulgate, Arabic, Syriac, and Ethiopic. But the Chaldaic as the English version. His very misery, combined with his having committed his cause to God, gives him the confident anticipation that he shall be set up on high; whereas his enemies shall be brought low. This is the ground of Messiah's exaltation (Philippians 2:6-9). The praise follows more naturally (Psalms 69:30) in this view than in the English version.

Verses 30-33

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

-He resolves because of the anticipation of glorification (Psalms 69:29), to praise God, and hopes that his deliverance will cause gladness to the humble saints.

Verse 31. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox (or) bullock that hath horns and hoofs - i:e., having divided hoofs, the mark of clean animals (Leviticus 11:3-4). 'Better than any victim, however perfect.' Mere material offerings cannot please God, who is a Spirit, in themselves, but only in so far as they are expressions of sincere faith and love.

Verse 32. The humble shall see (this), and be glad - i:e., shall see God's deliverance of One afflicted still more severely than themselves, and so shall joyfully anticipate their own.

And your heart shall live that seek God - (Psalms 22:26, note.) Grief "wounds" and deadens, the heart (Psalms 109:22); joy "revives the spirit" (Genesis 45:27).

Verse 33. For the Lord heareth ... and despiseth not his prisoners - i:e., those in the bonds of trial for His sake (Psalms 69:7) or by His appointment (Psalms 69:26); cf. Ps. 21:24 , "for," as my case shows.

Verses 34-36

Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and everything that moveth therein.

-Call to heaven and earth to praise God, since the sufferers deliverance is a pledge that God will save Zion, literal and spiritual; and His servants shall inherit it.

Verse 35. For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah - in the primary sense. God will repair the mischiefs done in Saul's days (Psalms 51:18, note). In the ulterior sense Zion, now long desolate, shall be rebuilt and restored at Messiah's second coming.

That they may dwell there - namely, 'the humble and poor,' as David (Psalms 69:32-33; Psalms 69:36). In contrast to Psalms 69:25, "let, none dwell in their (the wicked men's) tents."

Verse 36. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it; and they that love his name shall dwell therein - (Isaiah 65:9.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 69". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.